That Doesn’t Go There!

John Kendler – Special Guest Blogger One of my key tasks at Urban Impact is monitoring the quality of the blue box recyclables we receive. This is done through regular material “audits” – a fancy word for taking a sample of material, sorting through it and weighing each category. These audits provide us with a lot of important information, such as the changing composition of material in the blue box mix. Over the last few years, for example, we have noticed increases in the use of PET (plastic labeled #1) and polypropylene (plastic labeled #5) packaging, along with decreases in ...

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Will the plastic shopping bag ever go away?

  I am lucky enough to be on holiday in eastern Ontario, enjoying amazing weather and lake country scenery.  I feel very blessed. Yesterday we boated into town to pick up some supplies and I found myself in the drug store, gathering up a few items and checking out.  The check out clerk was genuinely helpful and dutifully put my few belongings in a plastic bag. I remarked quickly “Please no bag, I can carry out those items without a bag”. Check out Clerk “Don’t worry, I did not charge you for the bag.” I remark back “Thanks, I am not ...

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Changing Perceptions Around Waste

The debate over exporting garbage has certainly heated up in the last year in Metro Vancouver.  Private industry, municipal politicians, municipal staff and citizens alike have all chimed in on the question, should we control the flow of garbage within the region? Regardless of your opinion, or the final outcome of this question, the sad part to me is that the discussion about real change towards true waste diversion or zero waste is being drowned out.  Really we should be talking about the need to change regular people’s perceptions and attitudes about garbage. We need to consider not creating waste ...

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Part 6 – Should glass be included or excluded from the Blue Box in BC?

PPP EPR has been in the news in a big way recently, with the focus entirely on glass.  MMBC is taking some heat from Metro Vancouver and local governments for asking the question, should glass be in or out of the blue box?  It seems that this question has sparked the interest of the mainstream media, as they have certainly weighed in with news stories that have solicited plenty of resident comments online. I believe it is a question worth asking and debating.  Glass is a highly abrasive form of packaging that has been historically very difficult to deal with ...